Nov. 21, 2007
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Senior guard Tracey Walker finished just shy of a triple-double and senior Jen Gottschalk added 22 points Tuesday night to lead Santa Clara women's basketball into the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout title game with a 69-61 triumph over Bradley at Sullivan Arena. The Broncos will face host Alaska Anchorage in the championship game on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. AST.
"We started out really well in the first half," said head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "But we began to lose our composure mentally towards the end. However, we played great defense in the second half and maintained a steady lead to the end. We're excited to play Alaska Anchorage in the championship game. This is why we came here and the game speaks for itself as a motivating factor for our players and we're excited for the challenge."
Walker, who received Player of the Game honors, tallied a career-high 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, which the was also a career-high.
"Tracey played her best basketball of the year in that first half," said Bento-Jackson. "She played hard and did a very good job on both ends of the court."
Assisting the Broncos in their third straight victory of the season was Wasilla, Alaska native Chandice Cronk, who had a successful homecoming with 16 points (7-12 FG, 4-6 3FG) , and Elizabeth Doran, who registered 11 points.
Santa Clara started out strong and pushed themselves to a 15-4 lead on points from Walker, Doran and Cronk. But Bradley began to fight back to produce a 10-2 run and tie the score 32-32 with three minutes left in the half. A layup from Gottschalk gave the Broncos a 34-32 lead, but with 32 seconds remaining Devyn Flanagan scored for the Braves and sent the game into halftime with a 34-34 score.
The Broncos opened the second half with another spurt of energy and quickly pushed to a 10-point lead, 39-49, on points from Doran, Walker and Gottschalk. Yet, the Braves continued to apply pressure and brought the score within four points, 57-53, on a jumper with five minutes remaining. However, Gottschalk answered quickly with a made layup and free throw to send the Broncos on a 10-4 run and make the score 67-57 on another layup from Gottschalk. Santa Clara held Bradley to just four additional points as back-to-back free throws from Gottschalk closed out the score, 69-61.
For the Braves, forward Monica Rogers scored a game-high 27 points and Skye Johnson had 12 points.
The Broncos face the Seawolves of Alaska Anchorage in the championship game Wednesday night. UAA is the reigning Great Alaska Shootout champions after defeating UC Riverside, 72-67, last November. Tip off is scheduled for 5 p.m. AST at Sullivan Arena.